This year's Aloha International Steel Guitar Club convention, held on July 14-16, 2016 at the Winchester Town Square Community Centre in Winchester, Indiana, was a great experience for me. This year's featured guest was steel guitar master Leonard "L.T." Zinn who is a young 92 years old! His initial performances were slow and unsteady due to his curtailment of playing activities. However, as the festival progressed, so did L.T. and by the end of the weekend he was his old self, clowning around, playing REALLY well and having a ball. It was so good to see L.T. in action.
I was able to put in a lot of playing time with Mark Prucha. What's so amusing about this is that Mark and I live about 45 minutes away from each other but we traveled over five hours to get to the convention so we could perform together! Outstanding backup musicians made our playing experience well worth the drive. Our nightly jam sessions comprised of an intimate group of musicians including Greg Wong, Mark Prucha and me on steel, with L.T. , Dick Martiny and Richard Briggs providing support on guitar and bass. Everyone found a niche to jam, with Greg pulling fills and Mark and I complementing each other with lead and harmony. Our playing experience only reinforced the idea that Mark and I need to get together more often to jam and perform.
Rumors have abounded regarding the demise of the AISGC. It was apparent at the convention that the AISGC will indeed continue. Its current membership comprises about sixty members, of which 35-40 were at the convention, with at least eight over the age of 90! Canadian convention attendees included veteran steel guitarists Mike Scott and Vaughn Passmore. All in all, a good time was had by all.
My current role in the AISGC is supporting their website, and I hope people will contribute more material for our website. Mahalo for your support!AISGC
July 9-14, 2018
Monday-Thursday - Nightly Evening Performances
Friday-Saturday - Festival Ho'olaule'a Performances
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki
Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival
September 7-9, 2018 - Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Kohala Coast, Hawai'i
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali'i
February 16, 2019 (tentative) - Ka Makana Ali'i Shopping Center, Kapolei
Kaua'i Steel Guitar Festival
March 1-2, 2019 - Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach, Kapa'a, Kaua'i
Maui Steel Guitar Camp
TBD (tentative) - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, Maui
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
TBD - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, Maui
TBD - Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 8, 2019 (tentative) - Windward Mall, Kaneohe
HIMELE is a Hawai'i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.